WHAT? SERIOUSLY? Yes, indeed! In this post, you’re going to learn how to make the most delicious ‘Bougatsa’ Cinnamon Rolls!
What is Bougatsa?
Bougatsa (μπουγάτσα [buˈɣatsa]) is a Greek breakfast pastry (sweet or savoury) consisting of either semolina, custard, or cheese, between layers of phyllo. The name comes from the Byzantine Greek (pogátsa). It is found in Thessaloniki and in the Central Macedonia region of Northern Greece, particularly the city of Serres, where it was brought in the 20th century by Greek refugees from Constantinople. The taste of bougatsa varies between regions of Greece. For example, bougatsa in Veria is very sweet and full of cream, while in Thessaloniki it is crunchy and not that sweet.
Greek bougatsa is prepared from phyllo dough wrapped around a filling. After it is baked, it is cut into serving pieces and served hot. If the filling is custard, then the pastry may be lightly dusted with powdered sugar and/or cinnamon. Most modern bougatsa is made with machine-made phyllo, but some cafes and bakeries, selling hand-made bougatsa still exist, especially in smaller towns and villages of Greece.
What is Cinnamon Rolls?
A cinnamon roll (also cinnamon bun, cinnamon swirl, cinnamon Danish and cinnamon snail) is a sweet roll commonly served in Northern Europe (mainly in Nordic countries, but also in Austria and Germany) and North America. In Austria and Germany it is called Zimtschnecke. In Austria and Germany they are available at every supermarket and bakery. Along with Topfengolatsche, Buttercroissant and Faschingskrapfen they are a typical pastry to have with afternoon coffee.
A cinnamon roll consists of a rolled sheet of yeast-leavened dough onto which a cinnamon and sugar mixture (and raisins or other ingredients in some cases) is sprinkled over a thin coat of butter. The dough is then rolled, cut into individual portions and baked. The deep fried version is cinnamon roll or cinnamon bun doughnut. The main ingredients are flour, cinnamon, sugar, and butter, which provide a robust and sweet flavor.
Can I make them dairy free?
Yes! Of course you can! I’ve used almond milk in this cinnamon roll recipe with success! You can also use vegan butter to make the recipe completely dairy free.
The idea here, was to create an alternative way of cinnamon rolls, so I came up with the idea of a extravagant recipe with the custard filling of bougatsa and the ultimate dough of cinnamon rolls! Let’s start!
Bougatsa Cinnamon Rolls
Big, fluffy, soft and absolutely delicious with Bougatsa cream (custard) filling! This cinnamon roll recipe includes options to make them overnight or ahead of time and even freeze them.
2 hours & 20 mins
Eleni Komnos | Foodenyo
For the cinnamon rolls:
- 250 ml lukewarm milk
- 8g vanilla
- 3 tbsps sugar
- 1 tbsp dry yeast
- 1 egg white
- 4 tbsps sunflower oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 500g wholegrain bread flour
- 4 tbsps cinnamon powder
For the custard filling:
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsps sugar
- 8g vanilla
- 2 tbsps corn starch
- 300 ml plant milk
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsps milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Warm milk to around 43-46 °C degrees. I’d rather to do this by placing milk in a microwave bowl and warm it for 45 seconds.
- In a large bowl, add vanilla, sugar, yeast, egg white, oil and mix it up. Then, add the milk and mix it to combine with a wooden spoon. Next, stir in flour and salt. The dough should form into a nice ball and be slightly sticky & soft!
- Keep the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, place all the ingredients for the custard in small pot and warm it up at medium temperature. Stir continuously over the heat, until become a white smooth cream. Remove from the heat and wrap it, place it in the fridge.
- After dough has doubled in size, transfer dough to a well-floured surface and roll out into 6 equal small doughs. Roll out all of them and spread softened butter over each dough. Place them one on top of the other and roll out again into a rectangle. Spread the custard and sprinkle 2 tbsps of cinnamon over the dough.
- Tightly roll dough up, making sure to seal the edges of the dough as best you can. You will probably need to cut off the ends, they won’t be as full of custard and cinnamon as we’d want it to be. Cut into 1 inch sections with a serrated knife. You should get 12 large pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C and place cinnamon rolls in a greased baking pan or round cake pan. (I also recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as well, in case any of the filling ends up leaking out.) Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for 30-45 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 20 minutes or until just slightly golden brown. You want to underbake them a little so they stay soft in the middle and do not burn the custard filling. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes before glazed them, sprinkle again with cinnamon. Enjoy your 12 cinnamon rolls!
To make the glaze: In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar with milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread over cinnamon rolls and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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- Don’t overheat your milk. It should be between 43-45 degrees. Anything hotter is likely to kill the yeast, which means the cinnamon rolls will not rise. A simple tip is to dip your finger in the milk — it should feel warm similar to warm bath water but not HOT. If you warmed it up too much, simply wait a few minutes until it cools down enough to touch.
- Use a room temperature egg in the dough: if you use a cold egg, there’s a chance it could affect the yeast or mix with the melted butter and cause it to coagulate.
- Use bread flour: bread flour is available at most grocery stores and it makes ALL the difference in achieving softer, fluffy, perfect cinnamon rolls. JUST TRUST ME.
- Make sure you flour your work surface and the rolling pin: this is to prevent the cinnamon rolls from sticking to the surface or to the rolling pin.
- Use a wooden spoon & a rolling pin. I recommend mixing your dough together with a wooden spoon. For rolling out that beautiful dough. Pro tip: if you don’t have a rolling pin you can also flour up a wine bottle!
- Storing tips: Feel free to store your freshly baked cinnamon rolls covered at room temperature for 1-2 days, then transfer them to the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Simply reheat in the microwave to get them soft again!
- To make overnight cinnamon rolls: After placing rolls into the greased pan (after the first rise), simply cover, place overnight in the fridge and then bake them in the morning as directed. I prefer to bring my cinnamon rolls to room temperature first for 30-45 minutes before baking (this is known as the second rise).
- Filing: Feel free to use only my recipe of the dough and fill in your cinnamon rolls with different fillings! For example: dark chocolate, nutella, butter and brown sugar or jam!
Watch me make this cinnamon roll recipe!
Don’t forget to tag us #foodenyo on Instagram, if you remake this one! We’d love to see your recreations!
Thanks for this amazing recipe
Thank you so much Jena! I’m glad you liked it! I’d love to see your recreation!